Monday, February 13, 2012


 Dyke, his brother and another game warden all decided that they didn't have enough chicken in the freezer, so they all pitched in and bought 100 broiler chicks to raise and then butcher. Of course, Dyke offered to host the hatchery and this is what now occupies the back end of the old water trough serves as the brooder and with a sack of pine shavings, a couple heat lamps and a tarp, he was in business! 

Last night, before I slipped between my flannel sheets and down comforter, this is what I saw out the window...snow, snow and more blowing snow! (lit up by the farm light, it looks to have a nice warm glow, but in fact it was 20 degrees!!!)

What it looked like before I headed out to do chores...
Luckily, the schools had a delayed start, so I headed out to do chores @ 7:00...even through my coveralls, it was cold...broke some ice so Biscuit and Ed could drink and then threw some hay.

The kitties had sought refuge through the night in the haybarn...


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I'm still trying to grasp the concept of time passage...It's CRAZY that Zack is old enough for the Candlelight Ball! It seems just like last week when Jake went for the first time!
The Candlelight Ball is a tradition in Vernon with the Campfire girls. It's like a souped-up, fancified, "coming of age" Sadie Hawkins-type event. The girls secure their escorts early- some... 6 months in advance, gowns are purchased as far away as Dallas, and perusal of cutting-edge hair design books continues throughout the preparation process. Some of Zack's counterparts from his group of friends...

The guys, more kicked back, don't plan their attire until a couple of weeks prior to the event (sounds right, doesn't it!?). Some choose to wear a tux, others a suit...but either way, it must be an upscale look with careful coordination of the tie, pocket hankie, and/or vest with the girl's gown colors. Wrist corsages and boutonnieres are also carefully coordinated, concerning the colors.

(How does this boutonniere go on?) Jacee and Zack have been great friends since middle school and are a perfect match for each other!

Zack and I found his tie at the Mall and decided to go the "suit route" this year. Dyke still had his black pinstripe suit that he wore to his Game Warden interviews, back in the early 90's. Just for kicks, I had Zack try it on...knowing that there is a huge difference between Dyke's and Zack's leg length, I figured that the pants would look like capris on Zack...but....they fit perfectly! The jacket fit to a "T" and by borrowing some black loafers, purchasing a white dress shirt, black dress socks and a reddish Stafford tie, we were in business!

The day finally came and as Zack prepared to get dressed, we both realized that neither of us (Dyke was at work) knew how to tie a tie...I paniced for a moment, but Zack quickly solved the problem with the idea to pull up a YouTube video. He immediately got on line and found a video staring Charlie from With his tie draped around his neck, Zack proceeded to minic Charlie. The mimic show lasted only through the first loop of the tie and then Charlie continued on by himself. I was making italian sausage and tortelini soup in the kitchen, when Zack's frustrated hollers reverberated the walls! "Mother! Come here and help me!" Well, I was really no help at all, and with Charlie's monotone voice, I got tickled and started laughing so hard, my mascara was running! Zack laughingly yelled, "Mother! We have 45 minutes and we have to be in town and I'm not even dressed! We laughed some more together, but his laugh had more of a frightened tone to it...

Repeatedly, Charlie was paused, rewound, paused, rewound, paused and rewound until we both decided that the double windsor knot that Charlie so effortlessly produced, was not the knot for us. We Googled "Tie Knots for Dummies" but was unsuccessful. Zack said, "I can tie the most intricate, complicated fishing knot and I can't tie this dumb knot! Finally, Zack was able to twist and loop and pull and spread the silky tie into a very nice looking triangular knot...and the dressing race was on! He slipped the thin black dress socks on and quickly commented that it felt like he was draping a napkin on his feet, because they were paper thin. He was used to thick hunting socks! In moments, he was all dressed & looked extraordinary! I couldn't believe my eyes as I stood back and gazed (though my running mascara)at his elegance! It brought a short-lived tear to my eye, because with the next glance at the clock, we both realized that we had to hustle and get to town, so there was no time for tears and sensitivity - we had a mission! I was (and am) so proud of him!

The first photo-op was in the alley behind a local gym here in Vernon. The rustic wall was a perfect place for pics! With time still on our side, we went to another location for a few more pictures. It was freezing outside, but they braved the cold temps and provided another great shot! Nearing 7pm, we decided to make our way over to the Presbyterian Church where the dinner and more formal pictures would be taken. The parlor at the church was totally transformed into a glitzy glamour palace by one of the moms! It was stunning! A local pianist was hired and live piano music floated through the air. Shutters were snapping and as the "kids" (although they looked 25!)entered the parlor, they were handed a champagne flute with sparkling cider accented with a large strawberry that perched on the rim of the glass! The tables were decked out with zebra print, hot pink, candles and plumes of feathers in glass vases!

It was pure elegance, enchantment, romance and luxury!

Zack and a couple of his close girl friends.

A delicious pasta dish was served, as the groups sipped their champagne flutes and visited with each other.

Then, after dinner, they all made their way over to the country club for dancing, and more visiting! A professional photographer was there with a backdrop of balloons. At 11:45, Zack texted me and said that it was almost over, so I roused myself from the couch and headed into town. He had a WONDERFUL time and said that next year, he wanted to get a tux!